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be not owing to Chrisitanity. It has often been remarked, and justly too, that much of the knowledge which our adversaries possess, is derived from this source. To say nothing of the best ideas of the old philosophers on moral subjects being derived from revelation, of which there is considerable evidence, it is manifest that so far as the moderns exceed them, it is principally, if not entirely owing to this medium of instruction. The Scriptures having diffused the light, they have insensibly imbibed it; and finding it to accord with reason, they flatter themselves that their reason has discovered it. "After grazing," as one expresses it, "in the pastures of revelation, they boast of having grown fat by nature." And it is the same with regard to their sobriety. So long as they reside among people whose ideas of right and wrong are formed by the morality of the gospel, they must, unless they wish to be stigmatized as profligates, behave with some degree of decorum. Where the conduct is uniform and consistent, charity, I allow, and even justice, will lead us to put the best construction upon the motive: but when we see men uneasy under rersraints, and continually writing in favour of vices which they dare not openly practice, we are justified in imputing their sobriety, not to principle, but to the circumstances attending their situation. If some of those gentlemen who have deserted the Christian ministry, and commenced professed Infidels, had acted years ago as licentiously as they have done of late, they must have quitted their situation sooner, and were they now to leave their country and connexions, and enter into such a state of society, as would comport with their present wishes, their conduct would be more licentious than it is.

*

On these principles that great and excellent man, WASHINGTON, in his farewel address to the people of the United States, ac knowledges the necessity of religion to the well-being of a nation. "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity," he says, "religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labour to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A vol

ume could not trace all their connexions with private and public felicity. Let it be simply asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in the courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.-Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of a peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle."

Upon the whole, the evidence of this chapter, proves that Christianity is not only living principle of virtue in good men, but affords this farther blessing to society, that it restrains the vices of the bad. It is a tree of life whose fruit is immortality, and whose very leaves are for the healing of the nations.

CHAPTER VII.

CHRISTIANITY IS A SOURCE OF HAPPINESS TO INDIVIDUALS AND SOCIETY: BUT DEISM LEAVES THE ONE AND THE OTHER WITH

OUT HOPE.

THOUGH the happiness of creatures be not admitted to be the final end of God's moral government, yet it is freely allowed to occupy an important place in the system. God is good; and his goodness appears in having so blended the honour of his name with the felicity of his creatures, that in seeking the one they should find the other. In so important a light do we consider human happiness, as to be willing to allow that to be the true religion which is most adapted to promote it.

To form an accurate judgment on this subject, it is necessary to ascertain wherein happiness consists. We ought neither to expect nor desire, in the present life, such a state of mind as wholly excludes painful sensations. Had we less of the exercises of godly sorrow, our sacred pleasures would be fewer than they are; or were we unacquainted with the afflictions common to men, we should be less able to sympathize with them; which would be injurious, not only to society, but to ourselves, as it would deprive us of one of the richest sources of enjoyment.

Mr. Hume, in one of his Essays, very properly called The Sceptic, seems to think that happiness lies in having one's inclinations gratified; and, as different men have different inclinations and even the same men at different times, that may be happiness in one case which is misery n another. This sceptical writer, however, would hardly deny, that in happiness, as in other things, there is a false and a true, an imaginary and a real; or that a studied indulgence of the apetites and passions, though it should promote the one

would destroy the other. The light of nature, as acknowledged even by deists, teaches that self-denial, in many cases, is necessary to self preservation; and that to act a contrary part, would be to ruin our peace and destroy our health.* I presume it will be granted, that no definition of happiness can be complete, which includes not peace of mind, which admits not of perpetuity, or which answers not the necessities and miseries of human life.

But if nothing deserves the name of happiness which does not include peace of mind, all criminal pleasure is at once excluded. Could a life of unchastity, intrigue, dishonour, and disappointed pride, like that of Rousseau, be a happy life? No; amidst the brilliancy of his talents, remorse, shame, conscious meanness, and the dread of an hearafter, must corrode his heart, and render him a stranger to peace. Contrast with the life of this man, that of Howard, pious, temperate, just, and benevolent, he lived for the good of mankind. His happiness consisted in serving his generation by the will of God. If all men were like Rousseau, the world would be abundantly more miserable than it is: if all were like Howard, it would be abundantly more happy. Rousseau, governed by the love of fame, is fretful and peevish, and never satis fied with the treatment he receives: Howard, governed by the love of mercy, shrinks from applause, with this modest and just reflection, "Alas, our best performances have such a mixture of sin and folly, that praise is vanity and presumption and pain, to a thinking mind." Rousseau, after a life of debauchery and shame, confesses it to the world, and makes a merit of his confession, and even presumptuously supposes, that it will avail him before the Judge of all: Howard, after a life of singular devotedness to God, and benevolence to men, accounted himself an unprofitable servant, leaving this for his motto, his last testimony, CHRIST IS MY HOPE. Can there be any doubt which of the two was the happiest man?

Further: If nothing amounts to real happiness which admits not of perpetuity, all natural pleasure, when weighed against the hopes and joys of the gospel, will be found wanting. It is an

* Volney's Law of Nature, p. 12.

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